Three uncapped players are in the New Zealand squad for the opening Test

Last Updated: 24/02/13 12:40pm

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Hamish Rutherford: part of New Zealand's 12-man Test squad

Hamish Rutherford: part of New Zealand's 12-man Test squad

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Uncapped trio Hamish Rutherford, Tom Latham and Bruce Martin have been named in New Zealand's 12-man squad for the first Test against England.

Batsmen Rutherford and Latham have both played international limited-overs cricket and they are now set to battle it out for a place at the top of the order in the Test side, because Martin Guptill has a thumb injury.

Coach Mike Hesson says Peter Fulton, who has recovered from a knee injury, will almost certainly be one of the openers for the Dunedin contest, which starts on 6 March.

"We picked Peter to tour South Africa and he would have played there if he hadn't been injured," said Hesson.

Martin is a 32-year-old left-arm spinner who toured South Africa late last year but did not play in the Test series.

However, he is expected to be in the line-up for Dunedin because Daniel Vettori has an Achilles injury and is not likely to be back in action until the tour of England in May.

Tim Southee will link up with Trent Boult and Doug Bracewell in a young pace attack, and another fast bowler will be added to the squad after the match in Queenstown between a New Zealand XI and England, which starts on Wednesday.

Captain Brendon McCullum will bat at number five in the Test team, with BJ Watling to keep wicket and bat at number seven. Ross Taylor returns - as expected - to the Test team for the first time since he was jettisoned as captain last year.

New Zealand squad: B McCullum (captain), T Boult, D Bracewell, D Brownlie, P Fulton, T Latham, B Martin, H Rutherford, T Southee, R Taylor, BJ Watling, K Williamson.

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